Yesterday was my last trip of the year, going back to York to meet up with the DEEP group York Minds and Voices.
Following my diagnosis in March 2017, the negative narrative of the media and society, finishing work and left sat indoors for 6 months watching TV, I had undertaken a trip to York at the end of March which was a lightbulb moment in my life with Dementia.
I had found out about a post diagnosis support course on Twitter called A Good Life with Dementia and has contacted Damian Murphy to see if I could attend.
What followed over those 5 weeks changed me from a depressed 55 year old who had given up into someone who is an advocate for Dementia and our rights, a member of many organisations, a board member of Dementia Alliance International, attending conferences and events across England and even Brussels.
What it also showed was the importance of post diagnosis support m, especially when it involves peer to peer support, not only for the person with the diagnosis but for the care partner and family as well.
But back to my final trip of 2018.
I wanted to make the journey to say thank you in person to the members of York Minds and Voices for the opportunity to take part in their course earlier in the year.
So, a Taxi took me to the station and my train was the obligatory couple of minutes late leaving.
It was sunny, with some blue sky, but cold with a scattering of frost mainly in the rural areas.
Once we arrived in York, I took a Taxi to Lidgett Methodist Church to meet up with everyone.
I was greeted by Damian Murphy and Anna and gradually old friends and new began to arrive.
We talked about how the course had had an impact on me and Damian went through some of the business of the day.
Lunch was a marvelous spread organised by Anna and then Damian talked about the groups upcoming involvement in research.
It is so important for people living with Dementia to be at the heart of research, to change the narrative and to encourage research to be written in plain english, not the gargantuan sentences that the lay-person cannot understand.
Then it was time to go home, Damian’s wife arrived with the car and I was dropped off at York Station, getting the obligatory delayed train back to Sheffield and then a taxi home.
So the circle was complete.
On the 27th of March this year I left my armchair, the depression and armchair TV to travel to York for the Good Life with Dementia course
I returned yesterday, living my life within the reducing limits of my Dementia, grateful for the opportunity I was given to undertake the journey I have undertaken over the last 8 and a half months but going into 2019 more determined to do what I can in my own small way to bring about some change.